We are all about snacks in our house. Sometimes I feel as though I’m not the mother, I’m just the lady who prepares and carries all them snacks.
During meal times, I can barely keep my four-year-old in his chair, and if it weren’t for the highchair, my other son would be right there with him, up and down, up and down. If given a chance, they both prefer to graze throughout the day on snacks, running full speed with food jammed in their mouths, ultimately risking their lives. Most of the time, I have to put hard rules on the snacking. I try to aim for three meals and two snacks, but if they had their way, it would be seven snacks, hold the meals.
Considering how much my kids’ snack, it’s essential for me to have healthy foods on hand which means some prep at the beginning of the week. We have been making a serious effort to reduce waste in our house, which can often be a challenge with little ones - diapers, plastic toys, convenience foods, and snack packaging all contribute. Most days, I barely have enough time to shower, so if I didn’t prepare our snacks at the beginning of the week, I would be buying and reaching for the prepackaged snacks more often.
I like to bring small reusable bags to the bulk section of our grocery store and load up on bulk ingredients for our recipes. Some snacks that we’ve been loving are dried fruit, mixed nuts, cheese, popcorn for my older son, fresh fruit, and homemade baked goods - granola bars, mini muffins, and mini breakfast bites.
I came up with this recipe for oatmeal, prune, and walnut breakfast bites shortly after my trip to California with the California Prune Board. In my house, we are all pretty obsessed with prunes and any form of dried nut, so it seemed like an obvious choice to add them to these oatmeal bites. The things I love best about these bites are that they are easy to pack and take on the go, they are low in added sugar, they are full of nutrients, and they are super healthy. My kids are obsessed with them, and so am I. It’s great to have a snack that we all love.
Oatmeal, California prune, and walnut bites
makes 22 bites
prep time - 15 minutes
cooking time - 10 minutes
1 1/4 cups of quick oats
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of applesauce
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup of prunes, chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat.
In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Add the chopped prunes and walnuts and stir.
Using a medium #40 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop the dough and then scrape off any excess so that you have a flat surface. Place all 22 cookies on the cookie sheet flat side down. The cookies will not spread much.
Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
The bites can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 3 months. I like to store mine in the freezer and pull a few out the day I plan to eat them. To me, they taste better cold. But then again, I also like to freeze my milk chocolate bars and eat them cold.